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Illegal puppies seized at NI ports
Over 2,000 checks were carried out at Belfast and Larne ports between 3 and 10 December. (Stock photo)
Officials say puppy trafficking “will not be tolerated” 

Thirty-four illegal puppies have been seized in a matter of days at ports in Northern Ireland, during a series of vehicle checks.

Over 2,000 checks were carried out at Belfast and Larne ports between 3 and 10 December.

Working with local councils, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) found puppies without the correct paperwork - in some cases being kept in inadequate conditions.

DAERA’s head of animal health and welfare policy, Jackie Robinson, said: “The illegal movement of dogs through our ports will not be tolerated.

“Anyone who may have information on the illegal movement of dogs or an illegal breeding establishment can contact the relevant authorities. Contact details are available on the DAERA website.”

Patricia Allen, chair of the Local Government Animal Welfare Project Board, added: “Councils give a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and operate a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.”

Councils are now taking follow up action for the puppies found during this exercise.

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”